Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Was McChrystal set up?

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was fired last week as the top U.S. general in the stalemated Afghanistan war, told the Army on Monday that he will retire.

Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins said McChrystal, 55, notified the service of his plans. The general submitted formal retirement papers, but it is not clear when he will leave the service because the process usually take a few months.

In announcing McChrystal's ouster on Wednesday, President Barack Obama praised his long Army career but said his intemperate remarks in a magazine article that appeared last week could not be abided.

Someone in the hierarchy above McChrystal - - either in the Defense Department or the White House - - had to have approved of an extended interview for an article by an anti war writer for an anti war magazine.

It almost seems as if McChrystal was set up.

I don't get it

Senator Robert Byrd began his political career in the Klan.

After publicly quitting the Klan, he remained an undercover Klan mole.

As senator, Byrd opposed and/or filibustered all significant civil rights legislation of the '60's.

But, in 2008, he endorsed Obama (against the wishes of 60+% of the Democrats in his state).

Therefore, Senator Byrd is honored as a fighter for social justice worthy of a state funeral.

The gun control decision

California can expect a barrage of legal challenges to its many strict gun control regulations as a result of Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that state and local governments are bound to adhere to the constitutional right to bear arms.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court found that a Chicago-area ban on handguns can be challenged on Second Amendment grounds, meaning that the law will not stand if it is found to trample on the right to self-defense inherent in the federal constitution.

The high court has never before said that state and local gun regulations must meet a Second Amendment threshold, and the new ruling implicates laws ranging from California's long-standing and controversial assault weapons ban to local efforts to limit the sale and possession of certain types of handguns.

I support reasonable gun control laws to keep guns from people previously adjudicated criminal or crazy.

But, the Constitution clearly protects the right to bear arms, without qualification.

If gun control advocates are so sure their ideas have popular support, they should simply try to amend the Constitution to permit reasonable regulation of gun ownership. But, they should not attempt to do end runs around clear Constitutional language.

Cuba's dialogue with the Church

Hope -- and controversy -- after dialogue with Church - - Five weeks after Cuba's Raúl Castro and Catholic church leaders held unprecedented talks on political prisoners, the result has been some modest improvements, much hope and lots of controversy.

As noted, it's obvious any improvements are purely cosmetic, human rights abuses continue, and Castro is talking to Church leaders because they are no threat.

Why is the Church providing political cover to the Castros?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More bad news from the Gulf

BP and the Coast Guard sent oil-scooping skimming ships in the Gulf of Mexico back to shore Tuesday because nasty weather from Tropical Storm Alex churned up rough seas and powerful winds.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Dave French said all efforts had been halted for now off the Louisiana coast. Efforts also had been halted off the coasts of Florida, Alabama and Louisiana.


The self described "progressive" web site Daily Kos (whose posters include political celebrity bloggers such as Sen. John Kerry and Keith Olbermann) was forced to admit that its much touted and much quoted polls were complete fabrications! Today, discussing his previously released polls, founder Markos "kos" Moulitsas admitted "while we don't know if some or all of the data was fabricated or manipulated beyond recognition, we know we can't trust it."

These include the polls which "proved" everyone everywhere loves Obama and supports his healthcare bill, as well as those polls which "proved" opponents of Obama are ignorant racist conspiracy theorists.

Will all the news outlets which approvingly cited these polls, and hosted "kos" on their expert panels, now issue retractions?

EPA vs. BP

A month ago the Environmental Protection Agency ordered BP to stop spraying so much dispersant on oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon well and to find a less toxic alternative to the chemical it was using.

BP is still spraying the same stuff - under the brand name Corexit - that led to EPA concerns in May. Although it has decreased the total amount used, BP has exceeded the recommended daily level of 15,000 gallons sprayed beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. And so far, neither BP nor the EPA has found an effective but less toxic alternative to Corexit.

Meanwhile, federal scientists confirmed this week what University of South Florida researchers and others had found: plumes of tiny oil droplets that stretch for miles underwater, which "is consistent with chemically dispersed oil." Some of it, they found, had oozed into more shallow waters close to shore.

I guess we elected BP president in 2008. They seem to get away with everything.

Iran's nuclear ambitions

CIA Director Leon Panetta says Iran probably has enough low-enriched uranium for two nuclear weapons, but that it likely would take two years to build the bombs.

Panetta also says he is doubtful that recent U.N. penalties will put an end to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

He says the penalties could help to weaken Tehran's government by creating serious economic problems. But he adds, "Will it deter them from their ambitions with regards to nuclear capability? Probably not."

If Iran has enough enriched uranium for two nuclear weapons, and if Iran could build those nuclear weapons in two years, and if it is doubtful that recent U.N. penalties will put an end to Iran's nuclear ambitions, what is America doing to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?

Our president at the G20 summit

Still concerned about slipping back into recession, world leaders signaled Sunday they have a new fear - that the deficit spending they used to stimulate growth could produce a crippling debt crisis that also could stagger the world economy.

They pledged Sunday to cut deficits in half within three years, their fear of debt outweighing warnings from President Barack Obama that cutting back too quickly risks starving the economy just as its starting to recover.

Our president is at the G20 economic summit, defending deficit spending.

It's as if he has no understanding of the respective roles and responsibilities of the public and private sectors.

Communist monarchy

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and handpicked heir has been elected to parliament but he will at best become a figurehead under a military-led collective leadership, news reports said on Tuesday quoting a source.

Kim Jong-un will be the third generation of his family to occupy the "throne" of North Korea.

It is ironic that most Communist "peoples dictatorships" eventually devolve into hereditary monarchies.

Oil could gush until well beyond August?

The lack of experience with drilling relief wells in deep-water exploration suggests oil could gush into the Gulf of Mexico well beyond August, officials warn.

British oil company BP is scrambling to drill two relief wells to stop oil spilling from the Macondo well about 1 mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil has gushed into the Gulf of Mexico since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.

This article cites "the lack of experience with drilling relief wells in deep-water".

I thought Obama was trusting BP to contain the oil spill because BP had the experience and expertise.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Our ally, Pakistan

Pakistan will monitor seven major websites, including Google and Yahoo, to block anti-Islamic links and content, an official said Friday. Seventeen lesser-known sites are being blocked outright for alleged blasphemous material.

Does anyone honestly believe Pakistan is on our side?

Iran Gaza shipment canceled over Israeli blockade vow

Iran said the June 27 departure of a ship carrying aid to the Gaza Strip has been canceled because of Israel’s vow to prevent Iranian and Lebanese vessels from breaching its blockade of the Palestinian enclave.

“The Zionist regime has made sending aid to Gaza a political issue,” Hossein Sheikholeslam, head of the Iranian agency to support Palestinians, was cited as saying by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency late yesterday.

He referred to Israel’s warning to the United Nations that it may take military action to prevent ships from reaching Gaza. “In order not to give the Zionist regime an excuse, we will send the aid through other routes and without Iran’s name,” said Sheikholeslam, a former lawmaker and diplomat.

Iran backed down in response to threats of a strong military response.

Let's hope Obama listened and learned.

Innocent teen shot by over zealous border guards?

An innocent teen shot by over zealous border guards. That was the spin, complete with accusations of racism from immigrant rights groups and protests from the Mexican government.

Of course, the truth is different.

A 15-year-old Mexican boy shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent was among El Paso's most wanted juvenile immigrant smugglers, according to federal arrest records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The records show Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka had been arrested at least four times since 2008 and twice in the same week in February 2009 on suspicion of smuggling illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. Hernandez was repeatedly arrested along the U.S. side of the border near downtown El Paso, not far from where he was killed, but was never charged with a crime by federal persecutors.

A Border Patrol agent shot and killed Hernandez June 7 while trying to arrest illegal immigrants crossing the muddy bed of the Rio Grande. Some witnesses said a group of people on the Mexican side were throwing rocks at the agents. Agents are generally permitted to use lethal force against rock throwers.

The records show that in at least one case Hernandez was to be paid $50 a person for smuggling four people into the U.S.

Human health effects of BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

What is the oil doing to human health? What about the chemicals used to disperse it?

Health officials don't know yet.

Even Jimmy Guidry, director of the Louisiana Department of Health, who says 108 workers and 35 residents have reported ailments they believe are related to oil or dispersants, admits he can't prove the connection.

"It's hard to understand if nausea or dizziness or headache is related to the oil or to working in 100-degree heat in a [protective] suit," he said.

The lack of certainty led the U.S. Institute of Medicine, health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, to hastily convene a symposium of experts in New Orleans on Tuesday and Wednesday seeking better understanding.

"Some scientists say there's little or no toxicity from the oil," U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin told the group. "Others express serious concerns."

You would have to be an oil company executive, or a government bureaucrat angling for a job with an oil company, to doubt whether oil and oil dispersant chemicals pose a hazard for humans.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Remember when the White House denied discussing Obama's senate seat with Gov. Blagojevich?

The corruption trial against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) has been chugging along, with the highlight this week being testimony from Blago's former chief of staff about Rahm Emanuel and President Obama's Senate seat.

Blagojevich's former COS, John Harris, testified that Emanuel sent him a list of people Obama would find acceptable to replace him in the Senate, according to news accounts from the Chicago Tribune and Sun. Blago reportedly called the list "B.S."

Blago, as governor, had the power to appoint a replacement. Some of the most explosive charges against him are that he tried to sell Obama's seat for a lucrative job or other rewards.

Blago's office was expecting Obama to ask him to appoint his aide, Valerie Jarrett, according to the Tribune. But on Nov. 12, Harris heard from Emanuel, who said Jarrett was taking a job at the White House instead. Emanuel gave him a list of four names that the president had would find acceptable: U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes and Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War vet who now serves in the VA.

I guess they lied.

Heard the newest insane left wing talking point?

Congressional Republicans are intentionally holding up economic recovery until they can get back into office.

Not only is it insane, but awesomely hypocritical, coming from the people now applauding "General Betray-us". You know, the people opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . until Obama was sworn in.

More lone white males upset about health care reform

Remember, according to NYC Mayor Bloomberg and most MSNBC on air personalities, the initial terrorism suspect is always a lone white male upset about health care reform.

A Pakistani court sentenced five American Muslim men who had been arrested in Punjab Province to 10 years of labor in prison on Thursday for conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks. The case has amplified worries about the radicalization of Muslims in the United States.

. . . The men’s story follows a recent pattern of attempts by American Muslims to join militant groups fighting the United States military in countries like Afghanistan. Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani who also held American citizenship, pleaded guilty on Monday to trying to set off a bomb in Times Square.

Experts say that the young Americans, often children of integrated Muslim immigrants, are not immune to the calls of jihad by militant organizations, which play on feelings of frustration and confusion about identity common in young, first- and second-generation men.

. . . The men — Ahmed Abdullah Minni, Aman Hassan Yemer, Waqar Khan, Mr. Farooq and Ramy Zamzam — are believed to have made contact with militant organizations in Pakistan over the Internet. They say they traveled to Pakistan in December for the wedding of Mr. Farooq, who is of Pakistani origin, but Pakistani and American investigators contend that the men had come to meet militants.

Venezuela Seizes 11 U.S. Oil Rigs

Venezuela's government has seized control of 11 oil rigs owned by U.S. driller Helmerich & Payne, which shut them down because the state oil company was behind on payments.

Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez announced that Venezuela would nationalize the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company's rigs. He said in a statement Wednesday that Helmerich & Payne had rejected government demands to resume drilling operations for more than a year.

Helmerich & Payne announced in January 2009 that it was stopping operations on two of its drilling rigs, because Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, owed the company close to $100 million. It said it would shut down the rest of its rigs by the end of July as contracts expired unless PDVSA began to make good on its debts.

The company said Thursday that PDVSA's debt was $43 million as of June 14.

The American government is supposed to help out American citizens and companies when foreign governments deprive them of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Why isn't the Obama administration?

A tax on white people

With four days and counting until a nationwide tax on indoor UV tanning takes effect, salon owners are scrambling to update their books and hoping their customers choose staying bronze over saving some green.

Beginning Thursday, customers of UV tanning services will have to pay a 10 percent tax on trips to the tanning bed. The tax is part of the health care overhaul that passed in March. It was swapped into the bill late in the process to replace a 5 percent tax on cosmetic surgery that would have raised about twice as much money, but drew strong opposition from lobbyists and interest groups.

So the tanning parlors got stuck.

A tax on a service offered solely to white people, to be paid solely by white people.

But, according to most of those who adopted this tax, enforcing immigration laws, and asking people for proof of legal residence, is racist.

The bad news?

Ghana 2, United States 1

The good news?

We won't have to listen to all the "soccer is the next big sport" talk until the next World Cup.

Sandinista corruption

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is allegedly dipping into hefty Venezuela-funded coffers to bribe, buy and scatter the weakened opposition as part of his push for a second term, lawmakers and analysts say.

And when money doesn't work, Ortega's ruling Sandinista Front is using strong-arm tactics to silence the opposition, including the removal of four democratically elected mayors in the past month, the analysts say.

One by one, all the leftist heroes of south America - Chavez, Castro, Morales, Ortega, etc. - reveal themselves to be corrupt anti democratic thugs interested only in the continuation of their power.


Somaliland is basically the former colony of British Somaliland. It was independent for a few days in 1960, but was then forcibly absorbed by neighboring Somalia. The dictator of Somalia was attempting to build an empire in north east Africa under his Somali tribe's leadership.

In 1991, to escape the anarchy of the disintegrating failed state of Somalia, the "Republic of Somaliland" declared independence. Relying on remembered and remaining British colonial government structures, Somaliland appears to have established a functioning democratic republic, while the rest of former Somalia remains divided into regions and sub regions ruled by various combinations of jihadi terrorists, warlords, pirates and drug smugglers.

This week, the "peaceful region of Somaliland" voted for president.

Voters in Somaliland queued for hours and thronged polling stations Saturday for the second presidential election held in the self-declared republic, in a peaceful exercise in governance not seen for decades in the country's anarchic south.

Voters and candidates said they hope this vote will award Somaliland the international recognition it seeks. The three men vying to become president of the region have all promised to seek international recognition for the autonomous region.

"The election is very crucial for the future of Somaliland," said President Dahir Riyale Kahin as he voted Saturday morning. "It a bridge to a long-awaited international recognition."

Saturday's election also coincides with the 50-year anniversary of independence for Somaliland, a former British protectorate. The province was only independent for five days before joining Somalia on July 1, 1960.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 and has been a haven of relative peace in northwest Somalia as southern Somalia has degenerated into chaos and anarchy. The region has its own security and police forces, justice system and currency, but is not recognized by any other state.

For some crazy reason, the U.S. refuses to recognize the only democratically elected government to emerge from the failed military empire of Somalia.

Ruining the best

A day after this pristine seashore was walloped with oil, most of the sticky crude was gone from its beaches -- either cleaned up, buried or swept back into the sea.

But the question remained: How could miles of gooey mess have slipped past the ocean skimmers onto the shore?

The answer: Easily.

Although state officials say there are about 20 skimming vessels working night and day straining matted and weathered oil from the sea, there are too few of them to cover much of the vast Gulf, and the effort is more art than science.

"It's almost like beating a grizzly bear with a hickory stick," said charter boat Capt. Paul Redman Jr., who has been battling the oil on his "vessel of opportunity" -- the label for private boats serving in the cleanup -- for about three weeks. "You're going to fight till you can't fight no more. No one wants to give up."

The failure to stop the oil from hitting shore has frustrated area residents and raised questions about the effectiveness of the cleanup effort. But it has also brought home the point that there is no way to protect the 50-plus miles of Panhandle coastline now vulnerable to the oil.

The sad fact is that the Panama City to Pensacola beaches effected the most by the uncontrolled BP oil gusher are the prettiest beaches on the east coast of the USA. If you've ever paid attention to "Dr. Beach", at least 3 or 4 of the top ten "best beaches" each year were on that 3 county stretch of beach.


Have you noticed that many of those who never tired of discussing Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq are now declaring the public "tired" of discussing the Gulf oil spill and the continuing war in Iraq?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Change in U.S. immigration policy?

Eight Republican senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama this week asking for confirmation that the White House is planning to defer deportations or grant parole to millions of undocumented immigrants, pending congressional debate on immigration reform.

An aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told El Nuevo Herald on Wednesday that the White House has not replied to the senators' letter. Moira Mack, a White House spokeswoman, said the administration was not aware of the letter. "We have not yet received the letter," said Mack in an e-mail message. "We will review it upon receipt." She did not answer whether Obama was contemplating such a plan.

The senators' query is confirmation of widespread rumors swirling in recent weeks in the U.S. capital that Obama could be planning a surprise executive action to prohibit the continuing deportations of undocumented immigrants who have no criminal convictions.

Failing to enforce U.S. immigration law would not be a "change of policy".

It would be a violation of the president's oath to uphold and enforce the nation's laws.

More Muslim vs Muslim violence

Troops beat several dozen men and women in an Uzbek neighborhood in southern Kyrgyzstan's main city on Tuesday in a raid that deepened refugees' fears about returning to an area seared by an eruption of deadly ethnic violence, Human Rights Watch reported.

Human Rights Watch researcher Anna Neistat said that Kyrgyz troops moved before dawn into the Cheryomushki neighborhood of Osh and broke into one of the few buildings in the area that was not reduced to scorched ruins by ethnic Kyrgyz mobs 10 days ago.

The building has served as a shelter and makeshift hospital for the few remaining Uzbeks.

The Kyrgyz forces put all the men face down on the floor, beat them and detained 12, Neistat said. The attackers also beat some of the women and stole cash and valuables from them.

Up to 400,000 ethnic Uzbeks, mostly women and children, remain in tent camps on both sides of the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, afraid to return to their homes after violence the government says killed as many as 2,000 people.

You always hear Israel blamed for all turmoil in the region.

How do those who promote that theory explain all the Muslim vs. Muslim violence in the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia?

Why does Turkey focus attention on Gaza?

A roadside bomb blew up a bus carrying military families in Istanbul on Tuesday, killing four soldiers and a girl, as Kurdish rebels stepped up their separatist attacks.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the blast on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which had threatened to spread violence to urban areas after a string of bloody attacks on the army in the southeast.

"The terrorist organisation knows very well that it will not get anywhere with such attacks... This is a dead end," Erdogan said in parliament in Ankara.

There was no formal claim of responsibility for the bus bombing and nobody was immediately detained, officials said.

Why does Turkey want to focus international attention on the Israeli blockade of Gaza?

To deflect attention from Turkey's brutal occupation of Kurdistan and oppression of the Kurds.

Another Oprah-style myth debunked

Children whose mothers lived close to a mobile phone tower while pregnant did not appear to be at any higher risk of cancer than children whose mothers lived farther away, a new study finds.

British researchers analyzed 1,397 cancer cases in children up to age 4 from 1999 to 2001 in the United Kingdom. Using a national birth registry, they identified 5,588 similar children without cancer.

Next, they compared how far the children's mothers lived from a cell phone tower and the stations' signal strengths. No significant differences were seen between the two groups.

The study was paid for by an independent body set up to provide money for research into the health effects of mobile phones, funded by Britain's department of health and the mobile telecommunications industry. Paul Elliott, the study's lead author, was a member of the body's program management committee. The research was published online Wednesday in the medical journal, BMJ.

"It's reassuring," said Elliott, a professor of epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial College in London. "On the basis of our results, people living near mobile phone stations shouldn't consider moving based on health reasons."

Imagine how many television talk show hours were devoted to promoting this myth.

Next, Iran to Gaza?

IRAN is planning to send a blockade-busting ship carrying aid and pro-Palestinian activists to Gaza, Tehran announced yesterday.

The move fuelled concern in Israel, where commandos were training for another possible confrontation at sea.

Israel warned Iran, its arch-enemy, to drop the plan.

The Iranian move came days after Israel, under international pressure following its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last month, said it was easing its three-year blockade of the coastal strip.

Is "world opinion" so naive and / or anti Israel that it will trust Iran's motives and actions?

Basically, "Yes" to both.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Who's to blame for the economy?

As usual, the American people aren't stupid.

In January, 2009, at the end of the Bush administration, half blamed the Republicans for the sorry state of the economy, and less than one quarter blamed the Democrats.

Today, 18 months into the Obama administration, 28% say the Democrats are responsible for our economic problems, and about 40% still blame the Republicans.

With each passing month, more blame falls on Obama and the Democrats, and less on Bush and the Republicans. That's only logical.

The meaning of "withdrawal"


with·draw·al (wĭ th -drô'əl, wĭth-) n. The act or process of withdrawing, as: A retreat or retirement. Retreat of a military force in the face of enemy attack or after a defeat. Detachment, as from social or emotional involvement. A removal from a place or position of something that has been deposited. Discontinuation of the use of an addictive substance. The physiological and mental readjustment that accompanies such discontinuation. Discontinuation of the use of an addictive substance. The physiological and mental readjustment that accompanies such discontinuation. The act or an instance of retracting or revoking: feared the withdrawal of his parents' permission. Coitus interruptus.

Obama administration:

Top aides to President Obama on Sunday signaled that some U.S. troops could start coming home from Afghanistan as soon as July 2011, but most would likely remain there for several years.

In appearances on all the major talk shows, Cabinet officials and military advisers clarified the president's position after he walked a political tightrope by announcing he will send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and that some will start coming home in 19 months.

National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones told CNN's "State of the Union" that the July 2011 start of withdrawal was "not a cliff, it's a ramp" for beginning to turn over security responsibility to Afghan forces.

Noting the U.S. strategic interests in the region, including nuclear power Pakistan next door, Jones said: "We're going to be in the region for a long time."

Obviously, we need to revise the dictionary definition, so that the promised "withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2011" can be redefined as "start withdrawing but most likely remain there for several years".

Partisans vs. hacks

Partisans root for those on their side of the aisle.

Hacks blindly support whatever those on their side of the aisle do, regardless of ideology, logic or morality.


Already locked in a tight re-election race, Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski did not help his chances with comments Wednesday implying minorities are not "good American people."

"We're giving relief to people that I deal with in my office every day now, unfortunately," Mr. Kanjorski said during deliberations Wednesday between House and Senate negotiators over the pending financial reform bill.

"Because of the longevity of this recession, these are people — and they're not minorities and they're not defective and they're not all the things you'd like to insinuate that these programs are about — these are average, good American people," he added.

Partisan Democrats should be saddened, but should nonetheless condemn the obviously racist comments.

What do hacks do (all on MSNBC this morning)?

Eugene Robinson dispassionately described the statement as "generational" and "unfortunate".

Harold Ford told us to "look at it in context".

Jonathan Capehart excused the remarks as "taken out of of context".

You couldn't find three prominent African American media figures to excuse or minimize those comments if made by someone on the other side of the aisle.

But, Kanjorski is a Democrat . . . and Robinson, Ford and Capehart are hacks.

Mexico sues Arizona ???

Mexico on Tuesday asked a federal court in Arizona to declare the state's new immigration law unconstitutional, arguing that the country's own interests and its citizens' rights are at stake.

Lawyers for Mexico on Tuesday submitted a legal brief in support of one of five lawsuits challenging the law. The law will take effect July 29 unless implementation is blocked by a court.

The law generally requires police investigating another incident or crime to ask people about their immigration status if there's a "reasonable suspicion" they're in the country illegally. It also makes being in Arizona illegally a misdemeanor, and it prohibits seeking day-labor work along the state's streets.

Mexico believes Mexican citizens have the right to enter the U.S. illegally, and is suing Arizona on behalf of its citizens to protect that right.

Every America find Mexico's position and action offensive. And, in light of Mexico's immigration policy regarding its Central American neighbors, extremely hypocritical.

Of course, the Obama administration will probably applaud Mexico's "wisdom and bravery".

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Gore allegations

Whether the allegations are true or not (and I hope they're not), now we know why Gore didn't run for president in 2008 or get a high level job in the Obama administration.

Now, enforce your order

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down the Obama administration's six-month ban on deep-water drilling and rebuked the government for "arbitrarily" imposing a moratorium that would cause "irreparable harm to businesses" along the Gulf Coast.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday night that he will issue a new order against such drilling, which he said would eliminate "any doubt that a moratorium is needed, appropriate and within our authorities."

I favor a drilling ban. And, I think we should throw the book at both BP and the bureaucrats responsible for the disaster in the Gulf.

But, when a federal judge strike's down executive action as illegal and arbitrary and causing irreparable harm, the response should not be "we're going to do it again anyway".

In the past, and in other contexts, by other presidents, such action was called impeachable.

Your tax dollars at work in Afghanistan

Criminal investigators are examining allegations that Afghan security firms have been extorting as much as US $4 million a week from contractors paid with US tax dollars and then funnelling the spoils to warlords and the Taliban.

If the allegations are true, the US would be unintentionally financing the enemy and undermining international efforts to stabilise the country.

We are sending $4 million per week to the Taliban, and thereby financing the enemy we're fighting.

We're ruled by idiots.

Arizona, Nebraska, Anywhere

Voters in the eastern Nebraska city of Fremont on Monday approved a ban on hiring or renting property to illegal immigrants, the latest proposal in a series of immigration regulations taken up by communities around the country.

About 57 percent of voters in Fremont supported the proposal, according to unofficial results that still must be certified by the election commissioner. The measure is likely to face a long and costly court battle, with the American Civil Liberties Union saying it will try to block it before it even goes into effect.

In Nebraska, the local Fremont Beef and Hormel meatpacking plants have been importing and employing illegal immigrants for years, while the federal government did nothing. Therefore, the locals took action.

The "progressive" intelligentsia can snicker, and the media doesn't like it, but there's probably no where in this country where a similar ballot initiative would fail.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

That epidemic of right wing anti census violence

Remember the epidemic of right wing anti census worker violence?

The first incident turned out to be a suicide.

The rest?
Despite fears of hostility toward the federal government, incidents involving census workers have been relatively few. Since April, in the course of knocking on 47 million doors an average of two times, the bureau has logged 430 on-the-job incidents against enumerators, including 13 cases where shots were fired (one man was killed in Baltimore) and 139 cases where a weapon was pulled. Ten workers were robbed, one was bitten by a duck and another by a rooster.

Got that? There were only 430 incidents out of at least 94 million attempted personal contacts with residents.

430 out of 94 million.

And, like most senseless acts of assault or battery, the overwhelming majority were apolitical.

You have to wonder what the Obama administration and its allies were hoping to accomplish by breathlessly hyping baseless "fears of hostility" (while minimizing the existence of real terror threats emanating from the Middle East and South Asia).

Strange silence on McChrystal

Most of the "progressive" pundits are withholding judgment as to whether Obama should fire McChrystal.

It's as if they know what Obama should do, but don't trust Obama to do it, and therefore don't want to be caught prospectively criticising him again.

After all, they all lobbied in advance for a public option, for an offshore drilling ban, for climate change legislation, for repeal of the Patriot Act, for the speedy closing of Guantanamo, for speedy disengagement from Iraq . . .

Update - As expected, as soon as the decision was announced, it was ruled brilliant by the "progressive" intelligentsia.

A lone white man angry about healthcare reform

Remember him? The initial suspect in the attempted Times Square bombing? The description put out by Mayor Bloomberg and parroted by the "progressive" media? Not so much.

Calling himself a Muslim soldier, a defiant Pakistan-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing and left a sinister warning that unless the U.S. leaves Muslim lands alone, "we will be attacking U.S."

Wearing a white skull cap, prison smocks and a dark beard, Faisal Shahzad entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan just days after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carried mandatory life prison sentences. He pleaded guilty to them all.

Catch and release

We catch 'em and our "allies" release 'em.

Afghanistan's controversial new commission formed to release suspected Taliban prisoners has set free 14 detainees already, primarily from U.S. custody, and more than two dozen more releases are imminent, Afghan officials told McClatchy on Sunday.

In a major concession to entice the Taliban into talks, President Hamid Karzai announced the amnesty for detained insurgents at the peace "jirga" - a traditional gathering of tribal leaders - held in Kabul at the start of this month.

Karzai is pushing a policy of "reconciliation" with the Taliban, having apparently given up on defeating them militarily. Freeing Taliban prisoners is a key plank of his policy to induce the insurgents to come to a political settlement, which would see them gain a share of power.

Our "friend" Karzai is pushing a policy of "reconciliation" with the folks who enabled the attack on the World Trade Center.

Why is our government silent about this betrayal?

Suicide blasts outside Baghdad bank kill 27

A double suicide bombing outside the headquarters of a major government bank Sunday killed 27 people and wounded 57 others, the second attack in a week to target Iraq's financial institutions.

If you were a normal middle class person trying to go about your usual business in Iraq, how would you think the war was going?

Spending may snag repeal of gay ban?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that President Obama could end up vetoing legislation that would lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military — if the bill also contains money for defense projects he says are wasteful.

Can you imagine the anger and frantic spinning among self-styled "progressives" if Obama vetoes the repeal of "don't ask / don't tell"?

Of course, if Obama needs to look tough and pro-military after the McChrystal mess, he just might do it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More people have dropped out of the mortgage modification program than have been helped

The Obama administration's flagship effort to help people in danger of losing their homes is falling flat.

More than a third of the 1.24 million borrowers who have enrolled in the $75 billion mortgage modification program have dropped out. That exceeds the number of people who have managed to have their loan payments reduced to help them keep their homes.

Last month alone, 155,000 borrowers left the program -- bringing the total to 436,000 who have dropped out since it began in March 2009.

About 340,000 homeowners have received permanent loan modifications and are making payments on time.

Of course, all the banks we bailed out are doing fine.

Aren't we supposed to be fighting the Taliban?

We invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban regime harbored Al Qaeda after the 9/11/01 attacks.

Guess what?

Taliban and Afghan warlords are extorting some of the $2.16 billion the Defense Department has paid to local contractors who transport food, water, ammunition and fuel to U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, according to a House investigation to be released Tuesday.

Trucking contractors say they pay as much as $150,000 a month to warlords in "protection" money, and investigators concluded that payments for safe passage are a significant source of Taliban funding, according to a report by the staff of Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., who heads the House national security and foreign affairs subcommittee.

Got that? To assist our fight against the Taliban, we pay local contractors; the local contractors pay protection to the Taliban; and, the Taliban use the protection money to fund their fight against us. This makes no sense.

Obviously, Washington doesn't care about our soldiers

The Army remains months away from giving most combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan sensors that locate enemy gunmen, seven years after troops first requested them and a year after Congress granted the service's request for $50 million to buy them, military records show.

Seven years?

How to destroy an industry

Tar-ball cleaners outnumber tourists on Panhandle beach

More trouble in Afghanistan . . .

and it's all on our side.

The top U.S. war commander in Afghanistan is being called to the White House for a face-to-face meeting with President Obama after issuing an apology Tuesday for an interview in which he described the president as unprepared for their first meeting. . . . It quoted an adviser to McChrystal dismissing the early meeting with Obama as a "10-minute photo op."

. . . The profile, titled "The Runaway General," emerged from several weeks of interviews and travel with McChrystal's tight circle of aides this spring.

It includes a list of administration figures said to back McChrystal, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and puts Vice President Joe Biden at the top of a list of those who don't.

The article claims McChrystal has seized control of the war "by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House."

That's our military's confidential assessment of the Obama administration and "the real enemy": "The wimps in the White House".

Monday, June 21, 2010

A good question

Why don't news outlets call BP's huge oil 'spill' a gusher?

The answer is obvious - - the word "spill" was spun by BP's public relations department, and adopted by the administration, because it was in the interest of both to minimize the disaster they jointly caused.

Better late than never

With southeast winds projected to push oil deeper into Florida's Panhandle, the beaches here teemed with visitors Sunday as Gov. Charlie Crist met with workers who started fortifying the delicate bays surrounding this popular state park.

In St. Joe Bay to the west, workers laid thousands of feet of boom, with tens of thousands more to be coiled around the tip of Cape San Blas to the shoreline along the bay, one of the fragile estuaries east of Panama City.

The latest effort to protect Florida's shores came as coin-sized tar balls -- a fraction the size of earlier tar balls -- continued to wash ashore on busy beaches from Pensacola to Panama City Beach and as BP faced more accusations that it has mislead Americans during the massive Gulf oil spill.

They knew this was coming for 2 months. Why are they putting up booms now, after the tar balls started washing up?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Turkish hypocrites

Turkish warplanes launched a series of cross-border air raids against suspected Kurdish separatist fighters in northern Iraq on Thursday, Turkey's semi-official Anatolian News Agency reported.

A Turkish military source told CNN Turk, CNN's sister network, that the military scrambled jets to carry out the attack after a group of suspected fighters were detected on Iraqi territory, approaching Turkey's mountainous border with Iraq.

. . . Meanwhile, the Firat News Agency, widely believed to be a media arm of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, announced on its website that Turkish warplanes bombed three mountainous regions in northern Iraq on Thursday afternoon.

The Turkish security forces have been battling PKK guerrilla fighters in the predominantly Kurdish region of southeastern Turkey for more than 25 years. More than 30,000 people, mostly ethnic Kurds, have been killed in the conflict.

. . . Turkey has long pressured the Iraqi government to do more to rein in Kurdish separatists that operate in the border area.

Of course, this is the same Turkey which organized the Gaza "peace flotilla", supports Hamas and condemned Israel's military response.

Afghan spin vs. Afghan reality

A U.N. report released Saturday painted a grim picture of the security situation in Afghanistan, saying roadside bombings and assassinations have soared the first four months of the year amid ramped up military operations in the Taliban-dominated south.

The United Nations' findings appeared at odds with Pentagon assertions this week claiming slow-but-steady progress in Afghanistan — an assessment challenged by U.S. lawmakers during hearings on Capitol Hill.

The report, which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon submitted to the U.N. Security Council this week, said Afghanistan's overall security situation "has not improved" since his last report in March.

Roadside bombings in the first four months of 2010 skyrocketed 94 percent over the same period of 2009, and assassinations of Afghan officials jumped 45 percent, mostly in the ethnic Pashtun south, which has become the focus of the war, the report said.

Suicide attacks occurred at a rate of about three per week, half in the restive south. The increase in complex attacks — using a combination of suicide bombers and small-arms fire — pointed to Taliban groups linked with al-Qaida, the report said.

The administration spin is "slow-but-steady progress".

But, numbers don't lie.

Dreary and familiar?

President Barack Obama used his weekly address Saturday to take aim at Republicans' filibuster of legislation that would provide an extension of unemployment benefits.

"I was disappointed this week to see a dreary and familiar politics get in the way of our ability to move forward on a series of critical issues that have a direct impact on peoples' lives," Obama said.

"Dreary and familiar"? It sounds like some petulant child getting bored and frustrated with his summer job.

Anti census-taker violence

This is the scary season for the nation's census takers.

Since they began making follow-up house calls in early May, census takers have encountered verbal abuse and flashes of violence. They have been shot at with pellet guns and hit by baseball bats. They have been confronted with pickaxes, crossbows and hammers.

So far, the Census Bureau has tallied 379 incidents involving assaults or threats on the nation's 635,000 census workers, more than double the 181 recorded during the 2000 census. Weapons were used or threatened in a third of the cases.

Now, with just three weeks to go in the count's door-knocking phase, the remaining households are the toughest.

While most homeowners have received census takers graciously, some say they have been surprised at the degree of anger exhibited by Americans who consider them the embodiment of intrusive government.

. . . In some situations, the job turned unexpectedly dangerous, as for the Baltimore crew leader who was fatally shot seven times while sitting in his car.

Other workers were beset by mean-tempered animals. Wendy Soto, who was knocking on doors in California, still can't move two fingers after being attacked by a pit bull that pushed open a security door.

For all the attempts to spin these incidents as right wing anti government violence, it appears that the majority of attacks upon census workers are typical examples of urban street crime in areas that voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

Harvard illegals

An undocumented Harvard University student is no longer facing deportation to Mexico after being detained nearly two weeks ago by immigration authorities at a Texas airport, officials said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said late Friday that they would not pursue the deportation of Eric Balderas. The 19-year-old was detained in June after he tried to use a university ID card to board a plane from San Antonio to Boston.

. . . Balderas, who previously had used a Mexican passport to board planes but recently lost it, told The Associated Press that he became despondent and thought he was being deported to Mexico immediately after he was detained June 7. But he was released the next day.

According to a Facebook page set up to highlight his case, Balderas was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by his family at age 4. He said he doesn't remember living in Mexico.

He's studying molecular and cellular biology at Harvard and hopes to become a cancer researcher. He said he qualified for Harvard's privately funded scholarship package.

Harvard officials threw support behind Balderas after his detainment.

In principal, I agree with the proposed DREAM act — a federal bill that would allow illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship through college enrollment or military service. It's a good way to grant legal status while guarantying the immigrant will be a net contributor to the nation.

But, it annoys me when there's one rule for the Ivy League and another rule for the rest of us slobs.

Another hypocrite

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum says Florida faces such severe budget shortfalls that everybody needs to cut back.

But even as the attorney general touts his plan to freeze tax rates for local governments, he won't forgo hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money for his campaign.

"There's going to be a $6 billion shortfall -- or more with the oil spill -- in state government alone,"' McCollum said in a Tampa Bay area TV interview.

"I want to ask everybody to pull in that belt. Am I going to take some taxpayer-matching funds? Yes I am, because I've got an opponent now who's a multi, multimillionaire," McCollum said. "He's spending unlimited wealth and I'm going to have maybe $6 or $7 million to spend."

Bill McCollum is against government spending . . . on others.

The BP oil spill isn't unique

It's the biggest, and most watched, but mini disasters occur every day, every where, all the time.

And, although they pass laws and make speeches, no one in power does a thing about it.

It wasn't tar balls that kept swimmers from Biscayne Bay on Saturday. It was raw sewage.

Twenty million gallons of it seeped into the bay overnight after a 72-inch sewage pipe on Northwest 18th Avenue and 157th Street burst around 7 p.m. Friday, the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department said.

The sewage spilled into the Biscayne Canal for more than 12 hours before the pipe was capped around 7 a.m. Saturday morning, the department said.

Health officials issued a public advisory Saturday asking residents to stay away from swimming and recreational activities in the bay areas from the Julia Tuttle Causeway to the Oleta River Park.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Minorities hit hardest by foreclosures

In a classic example of trickle down economics, the Washington establishment bailed out the banks to save them from the foreclosure crisis.

We could have bailed out the upside down homeowner, which would have saved the excessively indebted, got the consumer to start spending again, and trickled up to the banks by satisfying their portfolios of upside down loans.

But, our "leaders" chose to reward their campaign donors rather than their voting base.

The result?

One of the most disturbing aspects of the foreclosure crisis is how much damage it has caused in minority communities. Now, the activist group Committee for Responsible Lending (CRL) has spelled out the depth of the problem in stark detail.

Research by CRL found that about 17% of Latino homeowners and 11% of African American homeowners have already lost their home to foreclosure or are at imminent risk of doing so. The percentage among non-Hispanic white borrowers is 7%.

In terms of actual foreclosures, black and Hispanic borrowers are nearly twice as likely to have already lost their homes. The data shows that for every 10,000 loans made to African Americans, 790 foreclosures were completed, compared to 769 for every 10,000 loans made to Latinos and 452 for every 10,000 loans made to whites. As a result of these home losses, $193 billion in wealth will be drained from the African American community between 2009 and 2012, while the Latino community will lose $180 billion during that same period.

Sadly, those who should be screaming the loudest are silenced by an outdated sense of ethnic and racial solidarity with their president.

Awesome speech, but terrible lie

Despite President Barack Obama's promises of better safeguards for offshore drilling, federal regulators continue to approve plans for oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with minimal or no environmental analysis.

The Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service has signed off on at least five new offshore drilling projects since June 2, when the agency's acting director announced tougher safety regulations for drilling in the Gulf, a McClatchy review of public records has discovered.

Three of the projects were approved with waivers exempting them from detailed studies of their environmental impact -- the same waiver the MMS granted to BP for the ill-fated well that's been fouling the Gulf with crude for two months.

In a May 14 speech in the Rose Garden, Obama said he was "closing the loophole that has allowed some oil companies to bypass some critical environmental reviews."

Environmental groups, however, say the loophole is as wide as ever and that the administration is allowing oil companies to proceed with drilling plans that may be just as flawed as BP's, which concluded that a major spill was "unlikely" and that the company was equipped to manage even the worst-case blowout.

The Bush administration did not approve the BP oil well. The Obama administration and Obama appointees approved the BP oil well. And, are still doing it, today.

Pretty speeches don't excuse ugly actions.

This is not good news

At Day 60 of frustration and failure in the Gulf of Mexico, a grim reality has set in: There will be no plugging this monstrous deep sea gusher -- at least not until relief wells are drilled, a job BP still expects to take until August.

It's just going to keep getting worse and worse and worse.

This is the enemy

An al-Qaida-linked insurgent shot and killed his own father as he slept in his bed Friday for refusing to quit his job as an Iraqi interpreter for the U.S. military, police said, a rare deadly attack on a close family member over allegations of collaborating with the enemy.

We can fight them. We can contain them. We can isolate them.

We will never convert them to our democratic, secular, modern way of life.

Friday, June 18, 2010


The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a California police department's review of provocative text messages a SWAT team officer sent his wife and, separately, his mistress on a department pager did not violate the officer's privacy rights.

In a 9-0 ruling, the justices said a California police department's review of provocative texts a SWAT team officer sent his wife and, separately, his mistress on a department pager did not violate the officer's right to privacy.

You have no expectation of or right to privacy when you text or email or browse on the company computer, phone or hand held.

When will people learn that?

And when do they apologize?

There were charges of electoral fraud and vote rigging in the South Carolina Democratic U.S. senate primary.

South Carolina's Democrats upheld on Thursday that Alvin Greene can run as the Democratic nominee against Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint . . .

After more than three hours of discussion, the 92-member state Democratic Executive Committee rejected a protest by former judge and state lawmaker Vic Rawl of Charleston, who lost the June 8 primary to Greene, a political novice who did little campaigning or fundraising but won 59% of the vote.

Rawl had asked the state Democratic Party for a new primary election based on flaws with the voting machines or software.

In his protest, Rawl cited voting irregularities, including people who tried to vote for him but whose ballots showed Greene's name checked instead.

Greene's election may still face an investigation by the Federal Election Commission, called for by U.S. House Majority Whip, Democrat James Clyburn of South Carolina. Others have asked state Attorney General Henry McMaster and the State Law Enforcement Division to examine Greene's candidacy.

The U.S. House Majority Whip accused people of criminal electoral fraud.

A partisan state Democratic Executive Committee rejected the charges as unfounded.

The fact is that neither candidate was known, so most votes were cast for the nicer sounding name listed first in alphabetical order.

If anyone did anything wrong, it was the "serious" candidate who couldn't overcome a blank slate.

When does anyone apologize for making false charges?

After 8 years . . .

The U.S. government, which is pressing Iraqi and Afghan leaders to get tough on internal corruption, is doing the same in its ranks.

Cases of suspected fraud and other wrongdoing by U.S. troops and contractors overseeing reconstruction and relief projects in Iraq and Afghanistan are up dramatically.

It's taken 8 years of war for the government to raise this issue.

No wonder we haven't won. And, with rich and powerful people making so much illicit profit off the wars, no wonder the wars continue.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A gag order for Blagojevich?

Federal prosecutors in the corruption trial of former Illinois governor Blagojevich are asking U.S. District Judge James Zagel for a gag order to muzzle Blagojevich and his lawyers, the Chicago Tribune reported.

In a 16-page motion filed with the court Wednesday, the prosecutors wrote that the day before, after government witness Lon Monk, Blagojevich's former friend and former chief of staff, finished testimony, Blagojevich and his lawyers made on-camera statements that the prosecutors characterized as "mini-closing arguments."

"Rod Blagojevich's efforts to manipulate media coverage to gain favorable attention and thereby to, directly or indirectly, influence the jury, has reached a level that requires court intervention," the prosecutors wrote.

A gag order for a former associate of the president on trial for political corruption?

That's what Putin does in Russia.

More tax dollars at work

Obesity sinks women's luck finding a sex partner

European governments funded a study to determine that "obese women were 30% less likely than normal-weight women to have had a sexual partner in the last year . . . Experts said the problems faced by obese people were probably due to a combination of physical problems linked to obesity as well as other issues, like low self-esteem and social prejudices."

Why don't they study why they waste money on silly, unnecessary research while government budgets are in such bad shape?

Wait for the oil spill future shock

First they used carcinogens as oil disbursing agents, and now they need to remove tons of toxic oil sludge.

People will die from the effects of the release of these chemicals into the environment for generations.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Typically Obama

[O]n Tuesday night Obama delivered his first address to the nation from the Oval Office, a "battle plan" for the oil crisis, trying to persuade the public that he's on top of the worst environmental disaster in the nation's history while also managing the broader challenges facing the nation.

Obama did not detail what this plan should include or how much it might cost, a price sure to be in the billions of dollars.

Whatever the bottom line, he said in his televised address, "We will make BP pay."

The speech had all the usual Obama elements - - a little phony macho posturing ("battle plan"), few specifics ("Obama did not detail what this plan should include"), no honest discussion of costs ("Obama did not detail . . . how much it might cost") and assurance that some other guy will pay ("We will make BP pay").

Charlie Crist's new friends

Fidel Castro on Monday:

"The hatred felt by the state of Israel against the Palestinians is such that they would not hesitate to send the 1 ½ million men, women and children of that country to the crematoria where millions of Jews of all ages were exterminated by the Nazis," Castro said. "It would seem that the Fuehrer's swastika is today Israel's banner," he said, referencing Adolf Hitler.

News from the Crist senate campaign on Monday:

As the Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist backed U.S. sanctions against Cuba and signed a state law hiking costs on agencies that book trips to the repressive regime.

But as a newly independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, Crist is slated to collect checks from some of the same people who successfully fought to overturn the law last year and who advocate opening a dialogue with Cuba.

. . . The Obama administration lifted virtually all restrictions on Cuban Americans' travel to the island last year, overturning a Bush administration ruling that had limited their trips to once every three years.

Crist said Monday . . . "I think the current policy in place is responsible . . . allowing families to visit [Cuba] is compassionate."

. . . as a newly independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, Crist is slated to collect checks from some of the same people who . . . advocate opening a dialogue with Cuba.

What an opportunist! He really believes in nothing but his own advancement.

The anti war party

The anti war party took over Congress in 2006, with a pledge to cut off war funding. It didn't.

The anti war party won the White House in 2008, with a pledge to end Middle East adventurism and unpopular wars. It didn't.

Instead, they rehired Bush's defense team (Secretary of Defense Gates and General Petraeus), are following the Bush plan in Iraq (including permanent bases and permanently stationing 50,000 troops) and escalated in Afghanistan.

But, we're supposed to trust them on the Gulf oil spill and energy policy!

I don't want another lecture on long term energy policy . . .

I want the oil leak to stop.

By the way - - the last time Obama made a major announcement on the subject of long term energy policy, he endorsed expanded off shore drilling.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Remember the fairy tale?

About 90,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, and that number is expected to fall to 50,000 by the end of August under Obama's plan to remove all combat troops from the country.

Obama's promise to "get out of Iraq" has devolved into "Obama's plan to remove all combat troops from the country" yet leave 50,000 troops behind in permanent bases.

I don't remember that "plan" being the one promised during the campaign.

I do remember the one promised during the campaign being described as a "fairy tale".

It turns out, the fairy tale description was correct.

"A hard time keeping his pledge"

The State Department says its diplomatic staff won't be safe after the American military leaves Iraq unless it has its own combat-ready protection force, a warning that underscores concerns about the Iraq army and police the U.S. has spent billions of dollars training and equipping.

. . . Contractors will be required to maintain the gear and provide other support to diplomatic staff, the State Department says, a potential financial boon for companies such as the Houston-based KBR Inc. that still have a sizable presence in Iraq.

The need for private-sector help shows that President Barack Obama is having a hard time keeping his pledge to stem U.S. reliance on contractors, a practice that flourished under the Bush administration.

According to the media, Clinton, Gore, Bush, McCain, Palin, etc. all "lie".

But, Obama has "a hard time keeping his pledge".

Why is the media surprised when they are accused of bias?


71% say Obama hasn't been tough enough in dealing with BP

Unfortunately, Obama's response will be to propose legislation that does nothing to clean up the oil spill.

Kendrick Meek

Kendrick Meek [sought] . . . federal funding . . . for a developer, now awaiting trial on fraud charges, who put Meek's mother on his payroll. Meek succeeded his mother, Carrie, in Congress in 2003.

Why is Kendrick Meek presented as an example of "the reality" that "top spots [are] still elusive" "for black candidates"?

Any candidate of any race with his ethical baggage would be in trouble.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Starting to notice that no one's noticing

People are starting to notice that no one cares anymore about the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
. . . with the exception of the American soldiers who are fighting these wars, and their families, barely anyone back homes cares? The Tea Party’s 10 point “Contract from America” doesn’t even mention foreign policy. At his keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Committee Conference in February, Glenn Beck never uttered the words “Afghanistan” or “Iraq.” And as Michael Cohen noted in a recent New Republic article entitled “All Silent on the Lefty Front,” liberal commentators are just as uninterested. Paul Krugman has not written a column on Afghanistan since Barack Obama took office.

Amazing. The same war strategy that got Bush called a war criminal earns Obama the Nobel peace prize. I'm sure he'll win all kinds of environmental awards for watching BP kill the Gulf of Mexico.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More bad economic news

Retail sales fell in May by the largest amount in eight months as consumers slashed spending on everything from cars to clothing.

The Commerce Department said Friday that spending fell 1.2% last month. Auto sales were down 1.7% but there was widespread weakness in a number of areas. Excluding autos, sales dropped 1.1%.

There is no hiring in the retail sector when sales fall.

NY's mayor is losing it

British Petroleum's CEO Tony Hayward, blamed by many for the Gulf oil spill, doesn't have many public backers these days -- except perhaps New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended BP CEO Tony Hayward, blamed by many for the worst oil spill in U.S. history. "The guy that runs BP didn't exactly go down there and blow up the well," Bloomberg said during his weekly radio talk with John Gambling on WOR-AM, reports the New York Times. "If you want him to fix it and they're the only ones with the expertise, I think I might wait to assign blame till we get it fixed," the mayor said.

Bloomberg is the guy who initially speculated that the Times Square bombing attempt was the work of a lone white right wing man upset by health care reform . . . until it turned out to be a jihadist conspiracy from abroad.

BP spilled the oil. We know that. There is no need to "wait to assign blame" for spilling the oil.

Who is in charge in the Gulf?

Fill her up with spill oil? When British Petroleum sells the crude from the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil could end up at gas stations.

BP said it would use the net revenue made from selling the crude to fund wildlife protection efforts in four Gulf Coast states, the Associated Press reports.

The company did not explain the specifics of how much money will be put into the fund. BP said in a recent press release the amount will be based on how much oil is collected and the price at which the oil is sold.

Since the collected oil contains a high concentration of methanol, BP expects that each barrel will sell at a lower price than regular crude.

Oil taken from the well will be indistinguishable from other oil on the market, Louisiana State University professor Julius Langlinais told the AP.

Obviously, the oil company is not sending ships to the Gulf to collect the spilled oil in order to protect the flora, the fauna or our land, sea and air.

They're collecting the oil in order to sell it . . . and, our stupid elected officials are standing by, watching.

Face it. BP still runs the operation, without oversight or control.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Are they stupid or are they evil?

A government panel said Thursday that the gash in the ocean floor left by the burned-out Deepwater Horizon oil rig may be leaking up to 50,000 barrels per day. U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt, who is coordinating the estimates, said the most credible daily flow rate is 20,000 to 40,000 barrels a day.

Thursday was at least the fourth time since the disaster began April 20, when the rig exploded and killed 11 workers, that BP or the government has dramatically raised the estimate of leakage from the site. BP originally said that the leakage was about 1,000 barrels per day.

First, the oil company and the administration told us that 1,000 barrels per day of crude oil were leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

Yesterday, we were told it's up to 50,000 barrels per day.

Today's breaking news - -

A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster in the Gulf makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf.

"The following is not public," reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Response document dated April 28. "Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought."

Asked Friday to comment on the document, NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen said that the additional leaks described were reported to the public late Wednesday night. Regarding the possibility of the spill becoming an order of magnitude larger, Smullen said, "I'm letting the document you have speak for itself."

In scientific circles, an order of magnitude means something is 10 times larger. In this case, an order of magnitude higher would mean the volume of oil coming from the well could be 10 times higher than the 5,000 barrels a day coming out now. That would mean 50,000 barrels a day, or 2.1 million gallons a day. It appears the new leaks mentioned in the Wednesday release are the leaks reported to the public late Wednesday night

Both the oil company and the Obama administration are either stupid or evil.

It's one or the other.

I'm assuming the oil company is evil and the administration is stupid.

Don't they know this is a rush?

Energy company BP is bringing additional ships to the Gulf of Mexico to deal with oil that may be leaking at a rate twice as high as previously believed.

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the director of the federal response to the Gulf spill, said Friday that oil production boats are currently on their way from the North Sea and elsewhere to help capture oil gushing from the leak.

The ships should all be in place by the first week of July, he said. They will have a capacity to hold 40,000 to 50,000 barrels per day of oil, he said. A government panel said Thursday that the gash in the ocean floor left by the burned-out Deepwater Horizon oil rig may be leaking up to 50,000 barrels per day. U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt, who is coordinating the estimates, said the most credible daily flow rate is 20,000 to 40,000 barrels a day.

The oil leak started in April. It's now mid June, and both the oil company and the Obama administration either can't or won't honestly say how much is leaking. Full response teams won't be on the job until July.

How badly are they all doing their jobs?

Thursday was at least the fourth time since the disaster began April 20, when the rig exploded and killed 11 workers, that BP or the government has dramatically raised the estimate of leakage from the site. BP originally said that the leakage was about 1,000 barrels per day.

"We're still trying to refine those numbers," Allen said at a news conference in Washington.

Meanwhile, they are now trying to use the spill as an excuse to pass previously pending legislation that will do nothing to stop the leak.

We should demand they stop and clean up after the leak first.

Then, on the basis of their job performance, we can decide whether to trust them further with energy policy revisions.

Call child protective services

A 16-year-old sailor on a round-the-world journey alone was drifting in the frigid southern Indian Ocean on Friday as rescue boats headed toward her yacht, damaged by 30-foot waves that knocked out her communications and prompted her to set off a distress signal.

After a tense 20 hours of silence, a search plane launched from Australia's west coast made radio contact with Abby Sunderland on Friday.

This girl's parents are obviously willing to risk her health, safety and welfare in exchange for a shot at notoriety, fame and fortune, just like the parents of Lindsay Lohan, Gary Coleman, Michael Jackson, the balloon boy, etc.

They should lose custody.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On his watch

The media (via Joe Klein of Time Magazine) has decided.

If something good happens, Obama gets credit, because "it has taken place on Obama's watch".

Of course, when something bad happens, it's the fault of George W. Bush or Bill Clinton.

Got that?

Desperate for good economic news

The administration continues to desperately spin any economic news as good news.

The latest?
The tally of laid-off workers continuing to claim jobless benefits fell by the largest amount in almost a year and new claims for unemployment insurance also dipped slightly for the third straight week.

The fact behind this "improvement"?
Some of those recipients may have exhausted the 26 weeks of benefits customarily provided by most states. A Labor Department analyst said state agencies didn't provide any explanation for the drop.

More and more people are suffering through extended periods of unemployment. Therefore, they are exhausting their unemployment benefits, and will soon be transitioning to other forms of public support, if available. They are not leaving the unemployment roles for permanent private sector jobs.

Yes, they will no longer be collecting unemployment benefits. Yes, Obama can brag that the unemployment roles are shrinking. But, that's not good news. In fact, it indicates that there is further and extended economic hardship ahead for more Americans.

Low expectations

The foreclosure crisis leveled off in May as the number of people facing foreclosure was nearly flat from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac, a private foreclosure listing service.

Our expectations for this administration are now so low that "no increase" in record foreclosure rates is considered good news.

Of course, eventually the foreclosure rate will decrease, after all the unemployed, over extended and insolvent are thrown out of their homes, and there's no one left to foreclose.

Will that be touted as "good news"?

The war in Afghanistan continues . . .

as the "anti war" candidate we elected president continues to escalate our involvement.
A suicide bomb ripped through a wedding party in full swing in the Taliban's heartland in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 40 people and wounding dozens more, officials said Thursday.

The blast occurred late Wednesday in a housing compound where men had gathered during the festivities, with female guests at a different house that was not hit, one witness said. Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said children were among the dead and wounded.

The family that was attacked included a number of Afghan police officers. The groom's brother and two of his cousins were in the police force, according to another cousin, Mohammad Alkozay. The groom survived the attack, but was injured.

Where did all the "anti war" protesters disappear to?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Illegals fleeing Arizona

Arizona's tough new immigration enforcement law is fueling an exodus of Hispanics from the state seven weeks before it goes into effect, according to officials and residents in the state.

Though no one has precise figures, reports from school officials, businesses and individuals indicate worried Hispanics — both legal and illegal — are leaving the state in anticipation of the law, which will go into effect July 29.

Schools in Hispanic areas report unusual drops in enrollment. The Balsz Elementary School District is 75% Hispanic, and within a month of the law's passage, the parents of 70 students pulled them out of school, said District Superintendent Jeffrey Smith. The district lost seven students over the same one-month period last year, and parents tell Smith the Arizona law is the reason for leaving.

In fact, it is illegal, not legal, immigrants who are leaving Arizona.

Say what you will about the Arizona law, but it's having the desired effect.

And, those illegals are going somewhere. Let's see what the legislators in adjoining states (who criticised Arizona's law) do now that they own the problem.

The most popular Democrat in America . . .

is Bill Clinton.

Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas triumphed Tuesday over a well-funded challenge on her left, proving an exception to an anti-incumbent tide this election season. . . . On an anti-establishment night, Lincoln proved the exception. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter last month had forced her into Tuesday's runoff for the Democratic Senate nomination, aided in part by big-spending from the AFL-CIO and other labor groups. The campaign turned on Lincoln's refusal to back government-run health insurance and easier union organizing. . . . "President Clinton called me tonight when it was clear we were going to win," she wrote, "and said, 'Blanche, you're the new Comeback Kid!'"

In race after race, Obama's support is toxic, but Clinton still delivers.

Last night, it was Clinton for Lincoln against $10 million in union money and the national pro Obama blogosphere for Halter. Clinton's campaign efforts were more helpful.

Which part of "no" don't they understand?

Another local story repeated too often across America:

Voters rejected a tax for a new Broward County courthouse just four years ago, but Tuesday, county commissioners approved the project anyway.

For 30 years, when someone pays sales tax in Broward County, that customer will be helping build a new courthouse.

County commissioners voted 6-3 on Tuesday to commit a half-cent of the existing 6 percent sales tax toward a new courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale, on the south side of the New River.

That's not a new tax; it is already being charged. But by their vote, commissioners will divert the tax from its use for general services and projects and commit it to the courthouse's construction.

Opponents said it could lead commissioners to raise property taxes to make up for the lost $230 million of tax revenue.

Voters in 2006 rejected a property tax for a courthouse, but commissioners are using an existing tax and don't have to put it on the ballot this time.

You can argue about "public opinion" and the validity of polling data.

But, there is no excuse for elected officials to disregard the results of referenda and elections.

Too common a story

This is another local story that's repeated across the country.

A Miami-Dade schools administrator who oversees special-education programs used public money intended for disabled children to pay for her own children's tuition at a Broward private school, investigators said Tuesday.

Deborah Swirsky-Nuñez is charged with taking $19,000 in John McKay scholarship money, which is funded by the state to help offset the costs of private schools for children with disabilities, and using the money to pay for her son and daughter to attend a private school in Broward County, according to an arrest affidavit.

Swirsky-Nuñez falsified information on the applications, including the extent of her children's disabilities, forged signatures and asked schools employees to doctor records, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and the Miami-Dade School Board Inspector General.

"It is sad to think that a high-ranking public school administrator . . . would seek to pay her private school bills by using public monies intended to benefit the disabled," State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle said. "This is not a singular error of judgment. It is an act of arrogance and greed."

Swirsky-Nuñez is married to George Nuñez, a region superintendent who was on the shortlist of employees considered to replace former Superintendent Rudy Crew in 2008.

Together, the couple are paid more than $225,000 a year, according to records.

Anyone truly interested in saving the public school system would encourage, demand and support investigations and audits to stamp out the rampant waste, fraud, kickbacks, cronyism and corruption in our public schools.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

White House priorities

The Gulf Coast is (literally) being killed.

Unemployment is (under) estimated at almost 10%.

Multi trillion dollar deficits loom (for as far ahead as you can imagine).

Health insurance (not care) reform satisfies no one, and its unpopularity continues to grow.

Wars without end continue (without end).

Withdrawal is redefined to mean leaving behind (50,000) troops in permanent bases.

So, where are the White House's chief speechwriter and one of its spokesmen (spokesmen, because they don't like women)?

Playing shirtless outdoor beer pong in a Georgetown pub!

These are the guys last seem copping a feel of the cardboard cutout of then-Senator Hillary Clinton.